Lightfastness for colored pencils

Lightfastness test

Six month ago (2015) I made color charts for four of my colored pencils. The four brands I put to this test where Tombow Irojiten, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor, Bruynzeel design and Uni Pericia. This lightfast test is performed by me and is therefore not to consider as a professional test; it is merely a test of an amateur.

I made my color charts on Fabriano paper. The paper hade a bit of a tooth, which probably was a mistake, because if I had chosen a smoother paper I would have hade better covering and it would have been easier to se the color changing. I covered half of the color chart (which leaved a mark in the middle) so that I can see the result side by side. I hanged my color chart in a window facing north and they hanged there for six months (from February 1 to August 1). The summer sun here in Sweden (where I live) has been scarce this year, it has rained a lot. 

Lightfastness test

The color charts of Tombow and Lyra have only a few colors (I do not own that many).
I do however have all Bruynzeel and Uni.
Since I wrote this, back in 2015, I have bought all remaining Lyra. I have also done lightfastness test on them. 

Tombow Irojiten

I only own few of them and they are all in a lilac color family (which is a sensitive color) so therefore the result may not reflect the brand overall. However, this was the worst of them all. After only a couple of months (in winter time and north direction) the colors where hardly visible. 

Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor

I tested thirteen colors, five were gray, four were pink-reddish colors, and three were green and one brown. In this color chart I had used some paint thinner in the middle, so that half of the swatch where half covered. It actually made it easier to see the result. All of the gray pencils hold their original color. The “raw umber” was the one that changed the most. The change was however more of a hue change than a value. Also the “light flesh” had a slight change in color, going from a pinkish tone to a more yellowish tone. Otherwise all the other colors hold the test. Read more about Lyra here: 

Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor
Lyra light flesh

Lyra raw umber
Bruynzeel design

There where only two that had great changes. Number 71, a pink color that became much lighter and number 77, a blue color that also faded much. Smaller changes where found in number 70, 75, 23, 36, 31, 18, and 11. The changes were however only slightly noticeable. Nr 16 did not change value but had a hue change, from orange to more peach.   
Of the 48 colors in total ten did not past the test.

Bruynzeel design lightfastness test
Bruynzeel nr 77

Some of the slightly changes colors

Bruynzeel nr 71, changed the most

Uni Pericia

They only carry a set of 36 colors. Five colors had a change of hue. The “brown ochre” changed the most. It went from a warm brown to a colder, more like a “raw umber”.  “Gold ochre” also had a noticeable change, if not as obvious. It went from warmer, reddish ochre to a more yellowish tone. The third color, “Cobalt blue”, faded just barely and lost a little of its former lilac tone to a duller one (so again, the red tone where lost). But it is barely noticeable. The same is true for "Apple green" and especially "Brick red", "Apple green" lost a little bit of the yellow tint and "brick red" become slightly colder. All the other colors where preserved beautifully. 

Uni Pericia 
Uni Pericia
Uni Pericia

Uni Pericia Cobalt blue 

Uni Pericia Brick red

Uni Pericia Apple green

Uni Pericia Gold ochre and Brown ockre


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